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Biodiesel can be an affordable alternative fuel, but when there's RIN fraud involved, it can cost over $100 million. That's the cost to victims – biodiesel buyers and the IRS – in a biodiesel fraud case in Indiana perpetrated by six individuals and three companies, as announced by the Justice Department today. The alleged criminals committed a whole heap – that is, 88 - illegal acts, including "conspiracy, wire fraud, false tax claims, false statements under the Clean Air Act,

Biodiesel has had a tough time of it lately. By the end of 2009 the economy was in the crapper, exports to Europe had withered under heavy tariffs and the price of gasoline and petroleum diesel fuel had dropped substantially from their peak the year before. The finishing move came in December when the $1.00 per gallon tax credit for biodiesel producers expired. FATALITY!

Here's an idea: plaster your wall with "useful information, titillating stories and inspiring highlights from around the country" about biodiesel. Also, use the same space to show off a map featuring all of the places in the U.S. that sell 100 percent pure biodiesel. This is easily accomplished with the new B100 Map from Biodiesel Smarter magazine and designer David Huyck. The map is 34 inches wide by 22 inches tall and costs $20.

Manufacturers of diesel engines make it clear that small amounts of biodiesel are usually fine (most say B5, or diesel with five percent biodiesel mixed in, is OK), but they won't make any promises about higher concentrations. Popular Mechanics has a good article that explains that these companies aren't just trying to make life difficult for plant-fuel lovers: there's technology in new diesel cars that doesn't play nice with biodiesel. The Environment Protection Agency and the California Air Re

Back in 2007, when Volkswagen was kicking off its Dieselution tour, we asked VW of America CEO Stefan Jacoby about official support for biodiesel concentrations higher than five percent. At the time there was no national standard for B20 biodiesel blends and Volkswagen would not provide warranty coverage for engines that used higher concentrations. However, Jacoby indicated that once a fuel standard was in place, the company would revisit the issue. Last June, a B20 standard was finalized, and i

Gas2.0, a website focused on biofuels, has published a very interesting set of 22 dispelled biodiesel myths. Some of them are dispensed with very straightforwardly and all are in favor of using biodiesel.

Blue Sun Biodiesel, the company that supplies B20 to the top biodiesel municipal fleet in the nation, has got at least one wealthy friend. An anonymous "private individual" has given the company a $3 million unsecured term loan for building up to ten new biodiesel blending and terminal locations this year. The facilities will handle B20 (branded as Fusion biodiesel) and B100. The $3m is not the only good financial news the company is announcing: an undisclosed amount of credit is also being fina

Back in October, an L-29 military aircraft named BioJet I powered by nothing but B100 biodiesel made a successful flight over Reno, Nevada. That short jaunt has now set the stage for something bigger: the first round-the-world flight powered by biodiesel. The pilot behind this undertaking is Doug Rodante, and he's assembled a team called Green-Flight International to help him use the cheaper and more environmentally-friendly biofuel in his quest. The team is currently working on an FAA fuel test

The Australian Supertruck teams will give biodiesel a go in their racing rigs this weekend as they compete as part of the V8 Supercars event being held in Adelaide. The five tonne trucks race each other at speeds up to 160 km/h / 100 mph which creates a significant amount of emissions. Biodiesel will be used in an effort to be more environmentally friendly and to reduce the black diesel smoke.

One of the less desired characteristics of biodiesel produced from natural and renewable substances is that it is more readily susceptible to oxidative degradation than petroleum diesel. Degradation of biodiesel leads to the formation of lower molecular weight acids, peroxides and gums that can result in unwanted changes in both the properties and performance of biodiesel. These impurities can result in injector fouling, filter plugging and excess engine deposits - all problems which have been e

While I do not question that biodiesel is a cleaner fuel than standard diesel, I don't think I'd dive right in to the smell of it burning in an engine the way that Portland, Oregon construction safety coordinator Dane Brewer (of Anderson Construction) does in this article. Libby Tucker, wrting in the Daily Journal of Commerce, starts with the image of Brewer going up to a forklift's exhaust and "taking a big whiff." I sure hope it was burning B100.

By now, we know all about the new ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel widely available throughout the States, but where does biodiesel fuel stand in relation to new emissions policies and technologies?

While still in Madison, WI Amanda Congdon visited the PrairieFire BioFuels Co-op. The co-op, like many others springing up around the United States, is a member owned group working to build infrastructure and create access to biofuels for drivers. The co-op is located in a former garage near downtown Madison. Along with selling biodiesel to members (at a discounted price} and non-members, they also provide support for doing biofuel conversions on older diesel engines as well as helping drivers b

San Diego (home of the multi-fuel pump and the 300 mpg prototype) could soon be the home of a B100 biodiesel production facility. The Board of Vision Energy Group, Inc. has requested a financial feasibility study on the facility, which would be able to produce 7 million gallons a year in the beginning. The plan calls for a final goal of 50 million gallons a year. That's a lot of B100. The biodiesel will be made from a variety of biomass sources, including "soybean oil, cottonseed oil, rapeseed o

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) would like everyone to know that there is more to Austin, Texas than live music: it's also the town with the most retail stores selling biodiesel (B20) in the United States. Coincidentally, there are twenty B20 pumps in Austin, most of them recently-biodieseled Shell stations. There are also three stations that sell either B100 or B99. The NBB estimates there are over 800 public biodiesel pumps across the country.

As biodiesel coops spring up across the country, some of the "old timers" are ready to share what they've learned thus far. A biodiesel coop in Duluth, MN will host an open house June 6 to mark the organization's one-year anniversary. The group is excited to share their accomplishments from the past year, including using 4,000 gallons of Midwest-grown biodiesel in about 40 vehicles and educating others on biodiesel in Canada and Northern Wisconsin. The group focuses on B100. They also met Willie

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